After UMBC blows out UMass Lowell, River Hawks Head Coach Pat Duquette said “this was not very enjoyable” and he was so right. The Maryland-Baltimore County Retrievers came to Tsongas Center in Lowell and put an old-fashioned beating on the River Hawks. The beat down started from the opening tip and continued until the final buzzer. When it was over, the Retrievers left Lowell with an 89-62 win to improve to 3-1 in league play and 12-7 overall.
UMBC finished the game with four players in double-figures as they shot 58% from the field and were 16-25, 64% from three-point range. They had 20 assists on 33 made baskets while scoring 32 points in the paint. If it reads like they had an easy time of it, they did.
It helps when the home team does not show up and the River Hawks were not good from the beginning. It was not just one phase of the game, it was in all areas. Offensively, they shot 34% for the game, 27% from three. They were outrebounded by a minus 13 (34 to 21) on the defensive end and were outhustled on both ends. It was a bad day to be a River Hawk. As the coach pointed out “we are not a good team right now”. He would also like to see his team get a little nastier.
The first half saw the Retrievers jump out to a fast 14-6 lead six minutes into the game. Sophomore Arkel Lamar led the way with eight early points on his way to a 14-point afternoon on 5-9 shooting, of which 4-7 came from deep. Lamar got help from teammate Jairus Lyles who had 9nine quick points. He ended up with game-high honors of 21. In fact, the pair scored 17 of the first 20 points the Retrievers put on the board in the first nine minutes.
The River Hawks were trying to hang in there but just did not seem to have the energy on this day. They shot just 5-11 and 1-6 from three nine minutes into the game. UMBC got a double-digit lead twice in the first half, the second time on a Max Portmann layup, his only two points of the game. They would never lose that double-digit lead the rest of the way.
In fact, they would increase it as the half went along, getting to as high as 21 on back-back three-point buckets by Lamar and Joe Sherburne (15 points on five three-point makes on six attempts). UMBC would head to the locker room up 42-25 on 54% shooting from the field.
If the first half was bad, the second twenty minutes got worse for the River Hawks. A combination of the Retrievers not cooling off on the offensive end and UMass Lowell not being able to get anything done on either end of the floor. The lead would balloon to thirty-two on a three-point play from Nolan Gerrity and reached that mark again on a three-point bomb from K.J. Maura (17 points on 6- of-7 shooting including 5- of 6 from deep).
If there was a bright spot on a bad afternoon for the River Hawks, it was the play off the bench from Joey Naccarato. The freshman came off the bench when the game was well in hand and gave the team a lift it desperately needed. He finished the game with eight points in 12 minutes to go along with three offensive rebounds. He was active on both ends when most of his teammates were not.
Jahad Thomas led the way for Lowell with 15 points, Ryan Jones gave the team 13. UMass Lowell falls to 0-3 in conference play and 6-10 overall. The team has now lost five in a row and nine of their last 11. They hope to get back on the winning side of things on Monday afternoon when they play host to UNH in a special MLK holiday game.
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